Paneer Mushroom Mattar Masala

Paneer Mushroom Mattar Masala

Who doesn’t love paneer? Besides being a good source of protein, paneer also contains calcium and phosphorus. Since paneer is high in protein and low in calories, it is often recommended for weight loss as several studies indicate that eating high protein foods tends to increase feelings of fullness and help decrease overall calorie intake, which in turn may lead to weight loss.

Try out this yummy recipe with mushrooms and red bell peppers. Mushrooms are high in antioxidants, selenium and low in fat, and calories while the red peppers(red capsicum) is optional, they do add loads of flavour to the dish while also adding antioxidants and Vitamin A to the dish.

Paneer Mushroom Mattar Masala

Ingredients for Paneer Mushroom Mattar Masala:

  • Mushrooms: 1 packet (sliced)
  • Capsicum(optional): 1 big (cubed)
  • Peas: 100g
  • Paneer: 250g (cut into cubes)
  • Tomatoes: 3 big
  • Onions: 1 big (2 medium)
  • Cashew nut: 8-10 nos.
  • Ginger Garlic paste: 1 tbsp
  • Green chili: 1-2 nos. according to spice tolerance( slit lengthwise)
  • Red Chili Powder: 1 -1.5 tbsp(as per spice tolerance)
  • Garam Masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Bay leaf: 1
  • Cardamom: 3nos.
  • Cinnamon: 1″
  • Jeera: 1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves: 2 tbsp – finely chopped
  • Oil/ghee: 2tbsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Heat oil/ ghee in a kadai and add the cubed capsicum and saute for 5-8mins. Keep aside.
  2. In the same kadai, add the onions and saute till translucent. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cashews and saute for about 5 mins till the tomatoes look cooked. Switch off and let this cool.Then puree this in a blender.
  3. In the same kadai add a little more oil, then add the turmeric powder,green chili, jeera, bay leaves, cardamom and cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds.
  4. Add the puree, red chili powder, coriander powder, garam masala and stir fry till the oil separates.
  5. Add the peas and mushrooms and saute for a few seconds. Add a cup of water and mix well.
  6. After it starts to boil,let it simmer till the gravy has thickened.
  7. Add the paneer and the sauteed paneer and mix well.
  8. Switch off and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
  9. Serve hot with rotis or even with jeera rice.

Cabbage Zunka/ Junka (Cabbage and Besan/Chickpea flour stir-fry)

Zunka/Junka is a common Maharashtrian dish which is also known as pitle/pitla in some places. The basic dish is made with besan/chickpea flour and water with a tempering of onions, ginger and garlic. This simple and quick dish is mostly eaten with bakhri made from either rice or jowar.

Kobiachi(Cabbage) Zunka is a variation of this dish by first adding cabbage and then the rest of the Zunka ingredients.

Cabbage Zunka/Junka

Ingredients for Cabbage Zunka:

  • Cabbage- 2 cups (finely chopped)
  • Onion- 1 cup (finely chopped)
  • Besan(chickpea flour)- 1/2 to 3/4 cup
  • Garlic pods: 3-4
  • Turmeric- 1/4 tsp
  • Hing/Asafoetida: a pinch (optional)
  • Chili powder- 1-2 tsp(as per your spice tolerance)
  • Garam masala- 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander leaves : 3 -4 tbsp (finely chopped)
  • Oil- 2-3 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add the smashed garlic and hing(optional). When it turns slightly brown, add the onions and saute till the onions turn translucent.
  2.  Then add turmeric, chili powder, salt and stir fry for a few seconds.
  3. Add the cabbage and mix well such that the spices coat the cabbage evenly.
  4. Cover and cook. The cabbage will go soft and release its own juices after about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Now quickly stir in the besan/chickpea flour and saute gently on medium heat. Make sure there are no lumps of the flour. The besan will absorb the juices and cook.
  6. Cover and cook on low heat for another 4-5 minutes.
  7. Now open the cover, check that everything has been cooked well and mixed. The besan should give out a wonderful cooked aroma.
  8. Garnish with lots of chopped coriander and serve hot with rotis or even hot rice, dal and pickle.

 


Malabar Spinach Tambuli (Basale Soppu Tambli)

Tambli/tambuli is a curd based dish typically made in Udupi/ Mangalore kitchens. It can be made with different green leafy vegetables (palak, curry leaves, etc) or even garlic. Since rice is the predominant grain in the traditional south Indian homes, this is served as a side to rice along with vegetables.

This recipe is with malabar spinach which is commonly grown in most Mangalorean houses.

Basale Soppu/ Poi

Malabar spinach is rich in soluble fibre, Vitamins A & C,  iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium.This tambli made with Basale soppu/Malabar spinach is also believed to cure mouth ulcers.

Ingredients:

  • Malabar spinach or basale soppu: A big handful (washed and coarsely chopped)
  • Yogurt/curd: 1 cup fresh (not too sour)
  • Grated coconut: 1/2 cup (fresh/frozen)
  • Green chili: 1-2 nos. (optional)
  • Cumin seeds/Jeera: 1/2 tsp

For the tempering:

  • Mustard seeds: 1/4 tsp
  • Urad dal: 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili: 1/2
  • Curry leaves: a few
  • Oil/ghee: 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Heat some oil in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds and green chili. When the cumin starts sizzling add the Malabar spinach leaves and saute till they are wilted. Keep aside to cool.
  2. Once cool, grind to a paste along with the coconut and  just enough water to make a paste in a blender/mixie.
  3. Transfer the paste to a bowl and add the yogurt and mix well. The consistency of the tambli should be thinner than chutney. So add enough water if it is too thick.
  4. Heat a little oil in a tadka pan, add the mustard seeds , urad dal and when it starts to pop add the dry red chili and curry leaves.
  5. Add this to the tambli and serve along with hot rice and vegetables.

 

 


Cauliflower Sabzi (Cauliflower and tomato sabzi-No Onion)

Cauliflowers are a good source of vitamins like vitamin C and K , thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin B6, folate, and beta-carotenes, minerals, proteins, antioxidants, phytochemicals and fibre. The sulphur content of cauliflower has been found to benefit heart health and fight cancers.

Ingredients for Cauliflower sabzi:

  • Cauliflower: 1 medium , cut into bite size florets
  • Tomatoes: 3-4 medium, finely chopped
  • Garlic(optional): 1-2 cloves, finely chopped
  • Green chilies: 1-2
  • Red chili powder: 2-3tsp (as per heat tolerance)
  • Coriander: 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds/jeera: 1 tsp
  • Turmeric: 1/2 tsp
  • Corriander/Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp chopped (for garnish)
  • Oil: 3tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method: 

  1. Heat oil in a kadai, add the jeera and turmeric powder, then the tomatoes and salt and saute till the oil leaves the sides.
  2. Add the cauliflower florets and mix well. Cover and cook on very low flame (you can also use a deep steel plate with sides as the lid and add some water on the top, the cauliflower will cook in it’s own water).
  3. Keep checking and mix well, sprinkle a little water if needed. Switch off till the cauliflower is cooked.
  4. Garnish with cilantro and serve as a side with rice and dal or with roti’s.

 

 


Mangalore Basale Curry (Malabar Spinach and Whole Moong in coconut gravy)

Basale soppu or Malabar /Ceylon Spinach is also called as mayalu in Marathi and poi in Gujrathi . It’s very common to see houses in Mangalore growing it and Basale ghassi or Basale koddel is a specialty of the region. Malabar spinach is rich in vitamins A, C, iron and calcium, and is also good source of soluble fiber.  The addition of green moong not only increases the protein conent of the dish but also adds a lot of flavour to it.

I was lucky to find the seeds locally and have been making this curry with homegrown organic basala. This is how Basala and payar (whole moong) curry is made in my family.

Ingredients for Mangalore Basale curry:

  • Green moong: 1 cup (wash and soak for an hour)
  • Basalla /Malabar Spinach: 3 cups (washed, chopped, both leaves and stems are traditionally used)
  • Tomato: 2 small or 1 Big
  • Salt: to taste
  • Tamarind paste: 1/4tsp

Grind together:

  • Grated coconut/dessicated coconut: 1 1/2 cups
  • Onion: 1 medium, sliced
  • Turmeric: 1/4tsp
  • Red chili powder(or 8-10 whole dried byadagi chilies roasted): 1-2tbsp (as per your heat tolerance)
  • Coriander powder (or 1 tbsp corriander seeds roasted): 1tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 3tsp
  • Mustard seeds:1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves

Method:

  1. Pressure cook the moong and the basale (leaves and stem) without adding salt for one whistle.
  2. Grind the ingredients mentioned under grind together to a smooth paste and keep aside.
  3. Open the pressure cooker (if it’s too small, then transfer contents to a deep vessel), add the ground masala, little water, cut tomatoes, tamarind paste and salt.
  4. Allow the curry to boil vigorously for five minutes, check for salt, tamarind add more if required. Adjust the consistency if needed before switching off.
  5. It is traditionally served with rice, but tastes great with chapathis too.

Note: You can add seasoning/tadka if you want, but it isn’t added in our family recipe.

 


Bhindi Peanut Masala (Okra in peanut gravy)

This is a gravy style bhindi masala with peanuts. The peanuts add a lovely flavour to the gravy.

Ingredients for Bhindi in Peanut Masala: Serves 4-6

  • Bhindi/ Okra: 250gms (wash well and dry completely)
  • Roasted peanuts (skinned): a big handful
  • Tomatoes: 2 diced
  • Green chilies: 1-2 nos. (depending on your spice tolerance)
  • Garlic: 4-5 cloves
  • Ginger: 1/2 ” piece
  • Turmeric powder: 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder: 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala: 1/4 tsp
  • Red chili powder: 1-2 tsp (use more if you like it hot)
  • Bay leaf: 1 no.
  • Cumin seeds/ jeera: 1 tsp
  • Oil: 4 tsp
  • Salt: to taste

Method:

  1. Dry the okra/bhindi and cut into one inch pieces.
  2. Heat about 3 tsp oil in a kadai and add the bhindi pieces. Stir fry till the bhindi turns a little brown. remove from flame and keep aside.
  3. Meanwhile, put the tomatoes, peanuts, green chilies, garlic and ginger in a blender and blend to a fine paste (without adding water).
  4. Heat a teaspoon of oil in the same kadai, add the jeera , turmeric and the bay leaf then add the paste, salt, red chili powder, cumin powder, garam masala and coriander powder and saute till the oil leaves the sides.
  5. Then add the fried bhindi and mix well. Add about a cup of water and simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Check for salt (and spices), serve with rice and dal or with roti/phulkas.